Hmmm, How Should I Spend My Summer?

The young woman who is in that photo is my Granddaughter, Adorable. The photo was taken in Harmony, California in a chapel after we hiked a four mile California state trail. As you can imagine, Adorable is not her birth name, it is Chantell. She quickly was renamed shortly after arriving at our home this summer. There is just nothing about this girl that is not Adorable. She chose to spend two months of her summer with her Grandparents, what what? What teenager in todays day and age leaves there precious friends during the summer to spend quality time with their Grandparents? My Granddaughter that's who. She also decided she wanted to spend two months with us! I was really excited about that time frame because I knew we could get a lot done from a mentoring stand point. Little did I know she would be mentoring to us too.

I know my husband and I are in a really good place with our fitness, nutrition, our relationship, and our spirituality and believing in that gave us the confidence knowing we could make a difference in this young woman's life. She was warned by her father, Christopher that she would be eating a lot of salads. Once arriving to our home, we encouraged her to eat similar to us rather than the standard American diet. Although I really do not think she knew what that meant, she projected a great attitude of trying new things. We did make her promises that we would make her favorite foods upon her request every now and then. She liked that idea also. If we are going to eat something crazy like pizza, we are going to learn how to make it at home in its healthiest form was my vision. I thought to myself, Adorable is 13, she can learn to cook too while she is here. So in between fresh pressed juicing, smoothing(smoothies), supplements, a fresh garden salad each night with a balsamic vinaigrette homemade dressing and a form of clean protein, and a starch resistent vegetable,we worked on cooking lessons! She did extremely well and everything she made, she basically perfected. I mean, what 13 year old does that? I know she is my Granddaughter and that makes me bias, but seriously, she kind of perfected everything she dived into while she was here. So in teaching her about nutrition, I was also able to teach her to cook. I know she enjoyed it and her dishes. I could tell by how many chocolate chip cookies she ate prior to baking them!!!!! The change in her diet was very apparent to Randy and I as her skin and eyes became brighter within just a few days of arriving. Her energy level increased dramatically through her works outs but also in her normal daily activities. Besides the adaptogen herbs we added into her smoothies, the only other supplement she got was a whole food children vitamin twice a day by Dr. Mercola. She had no problem taking her vitamins and would often remind us to give them to her. We sent her home with a fresh bottle!

The fitness that my husband and I perform here at least five days a week is CrossFit. If you know anything about CrossFit, you know its no joke. It makes it even more serious when you are a previous world games athlete who just so happen to make the podium. Even though that career is behind me now, its not so easy for me to not take my fitness VERY serious. When teaching new people about CrossFit, I must constantly remind myself to expose the fun in CrossFit. When a new athlete like Chantell walks into my box for the first time, it is very important to me to not injure her or allow her to injure herself, not intimidate her, not make her too sore, teach her proper technique and standards, stay creative to peek their interest, teach competing against yourself and to have FUN! I really was impressed with the fact that I had her two whole months. I knew that was going to give me plenty of CrossFit hours to improve her health both physically and mentally. One of her fitness goals was to make the track team at her Junior High School this year. That made my goal to prepare her the best I could to not only succeed by making the team but insuring she would be in the greatest shape of her life when she left here. Giving her the tools to not only make the team, but have a stellar season. We imparted on her, powerlifting, Olympic lifting, agility, gymnastics, proper equipment, mobility, discipline and a whole lot of mental training. We stayed on a five day training program for the most part as well as active rest on rest days and active rest during the remainder of the day. We did before and after photos and tracked her running time from start to finish. We also recordered her weights as they steadily became heavier. There was some improvements in the photos and lots of improvements in her times. On her time she went from running a 1.5 mile loop that is 1/3 uphill at just over 15 minutes to 10:30 time. She was elated with herself as we were too. But the things that stand out the most to me is watching muscle form on her lean body daily to hugely improved fitness level to superior confidence. Her attitude was excellent when she started but the confidence of believing in herself was not there. I saw that arrive on her and through CrossFit and spread into other areas we were involved in. CrossFit proves it functionality again! I do believe her CrossFit experience has changed her life forever. It was amazing to watch her talent come alive on the floor towards the end. It made me feel really good as a coach too. I felt like my coaching was spot on with her.

We all grew in our spirituality while she was here. God pulled some great strings for us and about the time she was debarking from her aircraft to arrive to us we received an invite to join Cowboy Church at the Santa Maria Rodeo with the Coy Huffman ministry. I was asked to give my testimony and a talk in regards to my book and Chantell was asked to join the worship team singing on stage. I think we might have done well as we were invited back two more times to speak and sing in Prather and Aromas, California. Each experience was moving and brought all of us many blessings and a high like no other. I know my Granddaughter had never been on stage before to sing and you would have never known that. She has a incredible natural voice and I was so proud of her. We attended our regular church services at Grace Bible here where we reside in between the Cowboy Churches we attended. I feel like she enjoyed that church. I know she liked the pastor and appreciated his sense of humor. We also had conversations about where we each were with our own spiritualty and shared a lovely daily devotion. I truly appreciate that Chantell loves the Lord and I admire her for her growth and stepping out in faith while she was here.

As we grew together in closeness as a family, Randy and I were blessed with the calmness Chantell posses about her. For me when times seemed abit stressful, her calm sole consoled both of us. Her love and respect she imparted on both of us reminded me just how loving a teenager can be and they are all not into themselves, their friends and social media. I felt like Randy and I actually had a connection with teenagers and would enjoy becoming involved with other teenagers in the future. She also was not ashamed at the fact she was having trouble with 7th grade math, all while the rest of her grades were solid A's. We were able to hook her up with a university online and she did two months of summer math from 7th, 8th grade to high school. She improved in math 14 percent while she was here and could continue with that program once she arrived back home to Alaska prior to school starting back up. The program was free too. We now have one of our Grandson's hooked into it too.

I know for me, having Chantell this summer was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever been through and I am so glad we were all able to enjoy ourselves and grow in love together. I know God has more plans for the three of us and I can not wait to see what he reveals next for Adorable. By the way, she loves the name Adorable! I hope everyone gets to have a chance like we did to spend two months with a wonderful Grandchild. There is just nothing like it. By the way, if you read the blog Holy Spirit Inspired, Chantell shares a lot about herself upon arriving. Its pretty cool to read the mind of a 13 year old Alaskan girl!

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Love and peace,